Jeff Sands' Homepage

Jeffrey A. Sands, Ph.D.


"Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution."
This quote from noted evolutionary biologist Theodosius Dobzhansky dates from 1973, the year I joined the faculty of Lehigh University. Over the years since then, I've been able to work, learn, and explore with many excellent undergraduate and graduate students "at the bench" in the laboratory. Research projects in biophysical virology spanned the '70s, '80s, and '90s: we studied the replication and stability properties of lipid-containing viruses, the structural aspects of heat-stable viruses, and structural-functional properties of human papillomaviruses. Along the way, we also investigated aspects of the molecular genetics of several species of bacteria and fungi. Overall, we published over 50 journal articles on the results of these various research projects. Four of them from the 1990's are listed below, one on fungal biotechnology, one on virus particle thermal stability, one on bacterial genetics, and one on papillomavirus function. Other representative papers from my 15 doctoral students are listed here .

Fungal biotechnology : Gilly, J., and J.A. Sands. 1991. Electrophoretic karyotype of Trichoderma reesei. Biotechnology Letters 13: 477-482.

Virus structure : Lawrence, H.M., and J.A. Sands. 1992. Structure of two thermophilic bacteriophages and their DNA genomes during heat inactivation. Journal of Structural Biology 109: 177-183.

Bacterial genetics : Norwood, D. A., and J. A. Sands. 1997. Physical map of the Clostridium difficile chromosome. Gene 201: 159-168 .

Papillomavirus function : Joyce, J.G., J.S. Tung, C.T. Przysiecki, J.C. Cook, E.D. Lehman, J.A. Sands, K.U. Jansen, and P.M. Keller. 1999. The L1 major capsid protein of human papillomavirus type 11 recombinant virus-like particles interacts with heparin and cell-surface glycoaminoglycans on human keratinocytes. Journal of Biological Chemistry 274: 5810-5822 .


Although I no longer have a research lab, I'm still interested in biophysical and evolutionary perspectives, including questions about viral origins and diversity, and global health aspects of emerging infectious diseases, including both bacteria and viruses. Some of this theoretical research interest is considered in my upper level course in Virology.

I am a member of the Leadership Team (one of the Co-PIs) of Lehigh's 2010-2015 Institutional Transformation ADVANCE grant from NSF, aimed at "increasing the participation and advancement of women in academic science and engineering careers."

Professor, Department of Biological Sciences
Lehigh University

Summer 2011

Sample lecture on viruses, fall 2008.

Genetics course at Lehigh from 2000-2005.

Hometown: Shickshinny PA, seen from Council Cup.